The use of tablet-based ultrasound in emergency services vehicles allows physicians to collaborate in real time with first responders in order to prepare for the patient’s arrival at the emergency department and, in many cases, to increase the odds of patient survival, according to a trial in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

For the ongoing research, six emergency services vehicles at Bedford, Hurst and DFW Airport Fire Departments were equipped with Samsung’s PT60A ultrasound. More than 50 medics have been successfully trained on the system’s use. In the field, they are able to rapidly access the tablet-based ultrasound to conduct scans while the patient is in transit. Wireless image transmission to the medical director takes as little as 30 seconds.

The transmission of ultrasound images has, in several instances, enabled medics or doctors at the hospital to positively identify internal bleeding, resulting in faster treatment upon the patients’ arrival at the emergency department. Early diagnosis also enabled the hospital to ensure relevant specialists are on hand upon the patient’s arrival. Interviews with some care providers involved with the trial are available online.